VisionLink Blog

By Ken Gibson

September 22, 2016

The Wells Fargo Lesson: Bad Pay Practices Produce "Bad Profits"


On September 8, 2016, the New York Times reported this about Wells Fargo:

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By Ken Gibson

September 13, 2016

How CEOs Should Measure Pay Strategy Success


When members of our firm first meet with prospective clients, we will often be asked something like this: "What results have your clients achieved because of the compensation plans you have helped them implement?"  While that seems like a reasonable question, in truth, it misses the mark.  You cannot typically draw a straight line between the way people are paid and the results a business achieves.  The better question is: "How do you measure the success of a compensation strategy?" or "What determines a successful pay plan?"  Let me explain the distinction I'm trying to make.

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By Ken Gibson

September 08, 2016

The CEO’s Guide to Overcoming Employee Entitlement


Employees that demonstrate an attitude of entitlement have not yet learned the relationship between value earned and value created. In most cases, such employees have been trained to think in these terms (in part) by the way their rewards systems have been structured - or by precedents that management has set in addressing individual concerns and desires. Here are just a few examples of how the entitlement mindset manifests itself.

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By Ken Gibson

September 01, 2016

How CEOs Can Measure their ROI on Compensation


Return on investment.  How often is that term spoken of in business?  It's what shareholders expect.  It's what CEOs are paid to achieve.  Yet, when it comes to pay, ROI is seldom referenced.  As a result, rewards programs are not typically held to account for their contribution to shareholder value and business growth in the same way other corporate investments are measured.  Well, we live in a business age where that lack of accountability isn't acceptable anymore.  So, let's talk about one way a chief executive can get a better handle on the ROI on compensation his company is generating.

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By Ken Gibson

August 24, 2016

How CEOs Can Improve Employee Line of Sight


One of the keys to greater employee engagement is improved line of sight.  This concept has to do with the ability of a person working within a business to see the relationship between certain interdependent elements that drive the company’s success and how they relate to his or her role and rewards.  When individuals come to work every day with a clear view of how those components are connected—and can relate them to their personal vision and motivation—they find meaning in their work.  Engagement follows.

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By Ken Gibson

August 16, 2016

What CEOs Should Do about the Shrinking Talent Pool


Today, a lesson in economics—followed by a bit of “therefore what?” analysis.  But first, let’s frame the issue.  If you are a chief executive, you are experiencing at a visceral level what human resource data experts have been talking about for several years now.  Finding talent that will help you keep pace with your organization’s growth potential is getting harder and harder while marketplace competition for your product or service is simultaneously getting fiercer by the day.  Why?  Because the marginal increases in capital and communication available today outpace that of the marginal productivity and performance of most employees. So only those who recognize and capitalize on the right end of the marginal workforce end up winning—and those who don’t, fall behind.  Let’s understand why—and then discuss what you should do about it.

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By Ken Gibson

August 09, 2016

CEO Pay Practices that Kill Employee Engagement


In this column, I have argued that most CEOs need to be more involved in providing leadership regarding the pay approach their company adopts.  Pay is a strategic issue and strategy needs leadership.  Therefore, rewards development must include direction from the organization’s primary business leader.  That said, I have seen some CEOs carve out a compensation course that has been a negative instead of a positive influence on company growth.  They instituted policies and programs where employee performance declined—or, at best, stayed neutral—and the growth trajectory of the business was impaired

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By Ken Gibson

August 01, 2016

CEO Rules for Attracting High Performers


Everything related to a competitive advantage begins with hiring and keeping premier talent—then making sure those people execute on the right performance factors.  If you disagree, then perhaps you can identify a company that has mediocre people who are not performing and is somehow sustaining a competitive advantage.  Let’s face it, it just doesn’t happen.

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By Ken Gibson

July 27, 2016

CEO Memo: 3 Standards that Should Govern Employee Earnings Potential


You’re on the verge of hiring a group of highly talented people that you anticipate will take your business “to the next level.”   You are willing to pay a premium for these key employees because you’re confident they will help you achieve your most ambitious growth goals.  You’ve been tinkering with the value proposition you’ll offer these recruits, trying to come up with the right balance between guaranteed and variable pay and between short and long-term value sharing.  And then, in a brief moment of anxiety, you wonder:  “What if they don’t perform?  What if I pay them top dollar and the results don’t justify it?   What if there really is no such thing as paying people in a way that drives higher performance?  What if? (sigh).” 

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By Ken Gibson

July 20, 2016

Why a Pay Philosophy is a CEO’s Best Friend


An article that appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine’s  online edition late last year made the following observation about compensation:

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By Ken Gibson

July 12, 2016

5 Factors Successful CEOs Use to Create Growth-Oriented Pay Strategies


CEOs of successful companies view every business asset as an engine of growth, including compensation.  As a result, they are constantly examining the impact of rewards on key results and outcomes the business needs to achieve to fulfill the growth expectations its leaders have envisioned.  They recognize that pay can either be a drag on growth or a strategic tool that drives it.  So, let’s talk about how to get less drag and more drive.

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By Ken Gibson

July 06, 2016

What Should Be Your Highest Compensation Planning Priority--Right Now?


Most business leaders would love to find a single pay strategy that could become the solution to all of their compensation problems.  It would be even better if it also carried a label that said something like this: “Just adopt this plan and all of your employees will perform exactly how you want them to.”  If it existed, it would be the Holy Grail of rewards design.  Companies of all sizes would rush to implement such a plan without delay.

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By Ken Gibson

June 24, 2016

How Effective CEOs Build a Performance Culture


If you are the CEO of a business, it is likely you see a gap between the company performance you want and the performance your organization is experiencing.  If that is not true, there’s no need to read any further.  However, if that is true, it’s probable you are very frustrated.  Perhaps you feel as though you are pressing on the gas pedal while those around you have their foot on the brakes.  However, as a smart business leader you also recognize that if performance isn’t where you want it, the buck stops with you.  So let’s talk about what successful CEOs do to create and sustain a performance culture.

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By Ken Gibson

June 17, 2016

5 Signs a CEO Needs to Change the Company’s Pay Strategy


Once upon a time, business planning was pretty straight forward.  You set growth targets, developed KPIs and budgets, fired up your people and then launched a new and improved business strategy laced with optimism and high expectations.  In today’s environment, strategy building must be much more fluid.  Planning processes have to be adaptable.  The pace of change requires CEOs to be nimble; able to “turn on a dime” when necessary to alter the trajectory of the businesses they lead.  All of this makes the chief executive’s response to compensation planning more important than ever.  Here is why.

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By Ken Gibson

June 10, 2016

6 Questions CEOs Should Ask About their Company's Pay Strategy


If you lead an enterprise, you want your rewards strategy to be an asset and not a liability to your business model and growth goals.  If that’s going to occur, your planning team will need to provide satisfactory answers to some important questions.  The responses you get will tell you much about whether you’re positioned for success or heartache—and what role you'll want to assume in the compensation development process of your company

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CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES

"VisionLink has helped us successfully navigate a number of complex issues regarding our rewards programs. It has dealt with all facets of these varied issues with a high degree of competence, integrity, and straight forward advice. VisionLink's experienced team has consistently delivered first class results in a timely, professional manner and has become a valued Storm partner."

Thomas K. Grzywacz
Storm Industries, Inc.

"VisionLink has helped us successfully engineer a long-term incentive plan that has empowered our company to reward and retain key talent while increasing shareholder value. The knowledge, patience and deep experience of its team members helped us navigate a road that was unfamiliar to us. Ultimately, VisionLink designed a plan that met the high standards of both stockholders and key management employees. We have further engaged VisionLink to address our business succession and transition planning needs."

Reggie Dupre'
Dupre Logistics

"Over the past several years, National Technical Systems has engaged VisionLink to provide insight and direction on a number of executive compensation issues, as well as a performance evaluation of our 401(k) plan. Under its direction, NTS completely revamped executive level rewards to align with our business growth objectives and the strategic plan of the company. VisionLink's insight and direction have been invaluable. NTS has achieved its growth objectives and our executives feel appropriately rewarded for their performance."

Bill McGinnis
National Technical Systems

"VisionLink arrived on the scene just in time for us. We needed a new framework for our short-term and long-term incentive plans. VisionLink's modeling and forecasting process broadened our horizons and expanded our view of how to use a good incentive system to build, retain and strengthen our senior management team. We remain impressed by their expertise, professionalism and great service."

James Keng
Jimway, Inc.

"Our firm has had a long-term incentive plan for over eight years but we never quite felt like it was firing on all cylinders. We hired VisionLink to re-energize our plan, and they did it! We now have a cohesive awards strategy that's fair to shareholders and valued by our employees. VisionLink's team is technically skilled and very creative. We're happy to recommend VisionLink to firms looking to upgrade their management incentive programs."

John M
FTO Inc.

"Our company was like VisionLink's typical clients. We were great at sales and haphazard at how we compensated our people. VisionLink's process brings great clarity and confidence to our growth planning - and makes compensation a great growth capability."

Dan Sullivan
Strategic Coach ©

"The team at VisionLink helped our company structure a long-term incentive plan that parallels the company's strategy for continued growth as a global market leader within our industry. Their approach resulted in a program that our corporate team and executives embraced on both a professional and personal basis. Through VisionLink's guidance and execution, we were able to create both a motivational tool for current team members and a recruiting device to attract future executive level associates. Well done!"

Mark Rhoades
Fluidmaster, Inc.

"As a leading direct seller of scrapbook photo albums and supplies, Creative Memories has independent consultants across the country. And for over six years now, VisionLink has helped us to stay connected and administer a voluntary 409A non-qualified plan for them. VisionLink has provided support for all aspects of our plan from notification of eligibility through registration and distribution. The VisionLink support team has offered suggestions for improving processes and provided us with outstanding service year after year."

Guy Walker
Creative Memories North America